'We are marching to Tshwane'

The Tshwane Metro council yesterday remained adamant that the status quo remains that the name of its capital is Tshwane in the ongoing saga over the city's name change.

The Tshwane Metro council yesterday remained adamant that the status quo remains that the name of its capital is Tshwane in the ongoing saga over the city's name change.

"The interim relief granted to the Freedom Front Plus does not have much political significance.

"The court did not rule on the question of the city's name. It only ruled on the technical matter of whether the current signposts may be removed and replaced with the Tshwane name posts," the city said.

This was in reaction to an interim interdict granted at the Pretoria high court putting a halt to the city's plans to replace the name Pretoria with Tshwane across the board.

Judge Bill Prinsloo yesterday granted the urgent interdict in favour of the Freedom Front Plus and Afriforum.

Prinsloo ordered the minister of provincial and local government to communicate to all provincial and local governments throughout the country that the replacement of route and guidance signs has been temporarily forbidden.

"What is significant from the interim relief is that the status quo remains - that the name of the city is Tshwane," the city said.

The Metro council was ordered to provide the applicants with an implementation plan for the name changes within three days after it had been finalised.

The applicants would have 10 days to respond to the plan.

"The court did not even prohibit the city from putting up Tshwane name posts at a later stage," the city added.

The judgment was a "victory not only for the Freedom Front Plus and Afriforum but for everyone in South Africa to whom cultural goods and supremacy of the law was important", FF+ leader Pieter Mulder said.

Meanwhile, the DA called on Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan to provide clarity on the renaming of the city "without delay".

"The DA believes that the city of Pretoria within the greater metropolitan area of Tshwane should retain its name," said the DA's Desiree van der Walt.

l The South African Geographical Names Council sends recommendations of new or changed names to Jordan, who approves or vetoes the registration of the names. - Sapa

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